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MM, Peabody Conservatory: Music Composition MM, Peabody Conservatory: Music Theory Pedagogy BM, State University of New York in Fredonia: Music Composition AS, State Universy of New York Schenectady County Community College: Performing Arts, Music
2015 - Macht Orchestra Composition Prize from the Peabody Conservatory
2013 - Ethos New Music Society Laurete Prize in Music Composition
I am a composer, educator, double bassist, and electric bassist from Albany, New York, currently living in Baltimore, Maryland. I studied with Kevin Puts while earning Masters Degrees in Composition and in Music Theory Pedagogy at The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. While at Peabody, I was a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Music Theory, taught middle school-age students composition lessons through the Junior Bach program, and substitute taught at the Peabody Preparatory. I received a BM in Composition from SUNY Fredonia where I served on the executive board for Ethos New Music Society and taught private bass lessons to non-music majors. In May 2013, I was awarded the Ethos Laureate Prize in Composition for my chamber opera Randall’s Leaf and, most recently, won Peabody's Macht Orchestra Composition Competition in 2015 for Pillars, erased. My other interests include cooking, camping, going for walks, comedy, science fiction, and visiting art museums.
My first teaching experience was in 2009 as a music tutor at Schenectady County Community College where I helped students with music theory and ear training while earning my Associates degree in music. Also at this time I began teaching private students the electric bass guitar. At SUNY Fredonia I began teaching double bass lessons to non-music majors focusing equally on classical, jazz, and folk traditions. Since then I have worked at Peabody as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and was part of the Junior Bach outreach program, learning to teach music theory, ear training, analyisis, musicianship, and composition, including the use of notation software like Sibelius.
I have found that for musicians at all levels, especially beginners, exploration is key. Learning an instrument is like building a relationship with that instrument and discovering what sounds you can create together. I use this guided discovery as a tool for discussing technique and musical ideas. Once enough fundamentals are grasped, I introduce repertoire which will lead to a recital performance. I always keep in mind the specific interests of the student and work towards meeting their individual goals.
My teaching balances improvisation-guided exploration with firm technical training. It is important for students to be excited about discovering new things as well as being encouraged by achieving clearly-defined realistic goals, which we discuss at every lesson. In addition to this balance, I encourage a lot of listening. Music is a 'heard art' and learning to listen attentively is key to musical growth. To this end, listening assignments (and likely additional suggestions!) are usually given in every lesson, determined by the student's interests, area of study, and current focus.
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